The Pioneering Goal Driver

This post is part 8 of our 10 part series on Financial Behavioral Insights from our Financial Planning Performance in the New Behavioral Economy White Paper. The financial behavior insights will help you gain greater self-awareness for recognizing some of your own behavioral tendencies and also those of investors.

Behavioral Insight 8: Pioneering Goal Driver

Anna Summer is a 45-year-old executive who leads the sales team for a large international foods company. To Anna, being wealthy and seen as professionally and financially successful is important. In the early meetings with the financial advisor, Anna communicated her goals and asked that the advisor keep her on track to meet them. Coming with her driving approach are significant financial goals and a lifestyle that has to be maintained. Anna did say that now that she has found her passions in business and life, her competitive drive has become relentless.

Financial Planning insights, financial advisor client, client communication styles, client behavior

Behavioral Insight
Naturally ambitious and driven people will be Pioneering Goal Drivers who are focused on growing their wealth but may be overly focused on success.
Communication key: Address their goals and remember their need for quick action.

Anna is the typical Pioneering Goal Driver who has big goals that need to be achieved in a hurry. She is naturally ambitious and determined to reach higher levels of success. So long as a Pioneering Goal Driver can see the goal is viable and there are signs of success, they will keep on going and may even increase their intensity toward the goal. From an investment perspective they can set long-term goals, and they will keep with the strategy so long as progress is being made. They usually will not make emotional decisions that ruin any progress that has been made.

The struggle for a Pioneering Goal Driver is that they are not going to be a content person satisfied to take the more lifestyle balanced life option. They will always be striving to make their life better. Therefore, they could sacrifice too much for success.

The reality is that most people have goals of some sort that they want to pursue. The question becomes, Can a person who expresses a desire to achieve big goals do what is needed over the long term to achieve those goals when the going gets tough? Not all people can, although they may think they can. Will they be persistent enough to follow through and make the necessary life change and accept the bumps on the road? Again, this can be difficult as there will always be many factors competing for attention and self-doubt that can creep in.

Advisors who are Pioneering Goal Drivers will naturally be focused on helping their clients set and achieve goals. However, they will need to realize that not all clients will be goal focused in the same way. Some clients will be very driven and results focused and others only want enough for their lifestyle needs.

Learning Point: The Pioneering Goal Driver needs to be questioned by the advisor in depth on the realism of their goals and deep-down desire to diligently achieve them. Then they need to be guided to set a concrete plan of action. Ask the client: Tell me about how you are progressing towards achieving your goals? How important for you is it to be seen as financially successful?

What are your thoughts? For additional information on discovery through behavioral profiles, click here.

Behavioral Insight 6: Re-Framing Information Based on Learning Styles

This post is part 6 of our 8 part series on increasing Client Engagement from our Client Relationship Performance in the New Behavioral Economy White Paper. The insights will demonstrate in practical terms how to apply predictive behavioral insights to tailor client communication and provide unique client experiences.

Behavioral Insight 6: Re-Framing Information Based on Learning Styles

Earlier in this series, we learned about Chris Coddington and his meetings with a client named Frank Butler. Chris was given information about the 4 Communication DNA Styles, processes for discovering which communication style a client has and specific communication keys for each communication style. (Click here to read the previous posts in this series).

Chris mentioned that he had invited 20 clients with similar levels of wealth and age to his office for a lunch and learn presentation by Paul Southwick on a new investment strategy. The new strategy will provide a mix of dividends and capital growth with some downside protection. Chris has vetted the investment and believes it will fit his clients well. Paul uses a PowerPoint presentation with great content in it about the bottom line of the investment and is an articulate presenter. As he goes through the presentation there are clearly some who get it and want to sign up, there are others who are totally confused by the details and switched off, others who want to do more research and some who need to understand how it meets their security needs. After the lunch Chris is very concerned about the mixed reaction and losing client trust. He knows the product is sound, and he will invest personally.

Have you ever attended a presentation like the one Chris arranged and been de-energized, bamboozled and confused by the investment proposal and not responded? Understanding investors learning styles and propensities for receiving information, new ideas, strategies, products and solutions is critical to successfully presenting to them. This will increase the chance that they understand the proposal for what it is and how it is relevant to them. The mistake many advisors and fund managers make is that they naturally present to investors through their own lens. Instead, they should be re-framing how they present to be much more on the investors unique terms.

Insight: Different Learning Styles
The difference between what the advisor said and what the client heard will be attributable to the behavioral lens of each. The communication of products and solutions must be adapted based on different learning styles.

Advisors need to appreciate that with 20 people in the room there could be 20 different reactions, because each person is unique. An important new area of behavioral research relating to communication is a persons learning style, i.e., whether a person is more Anchored (experiential) or Creative (new idea driven), or whether the person is more left-brained (logic and reasoning) or right-brained (stories and feelings). This difference in behavior (not intellect) has a very significant impact on how people should be presented to.

The best way to get around this is to re-structure the proposal being presented into 4 quadrants so that each broad category of Communication Style and Learning Style is addressed:

  1. For Goal-Setting Focus clients ? provide the big picture and how it relates to achieving goals and bottom-line returns. Allow for discussions for them to absorb the information.
  2. For Lifestyle Desire clients ? indicate how their lifestyle needs will be met along with telling them the names of the people involved in managing the product or solution. Provide them with minimal detail, because they will be guided by their intuition and will make an instinctive choice.
  3. For Stability Need clients ? address their financial security and allow them to sense the opportunity by providing feelings and emotions.
  4. For Information Need clients ? provide the history and research details, and make the solution tangible.

What are your thoughts? For additional information on increasing engagement of others, visit our Communication DNA Website.


To Learn More, read the full Client Relationship Performance in the New Behavioral Economy White Paper.